It has long been known that customers are using multiple devices on their journey to making an online purchase, but new research from Google shows that a staggering 84% of smartphone owners will use their mobile phones while actually in a physical store.
More and more customers are using their phone for price comparison and 1 in 3 shoppers will use their phone to find out product information rather than asking a store employee. This is especially applicable when shopping for electronic appliances (if only all shops had staff like Chuck and the Nerd Herd!).
The showrooming challenge, as Google calls it, is for physical stores to try and keep consumers from using other websites and potentially losing the customer. To do this they need to improve the in-store mobile experience. Examples of how this could be done include product information QR codes, demo videos, price match guarantees and obviously employing staff that know what they are talking about.
On the flipside, if online retailers are able to capture (steal) a customer who is already 90% complete on the journey to purchase by having a mobile-optimised, easy-to-use website with competitive prices, that should be an aim for all of them.
Google has also found that 90% of smartphone users will use their phone for pre-shopping activities before heading to a store. With finding a store’s location, opening hours and product range being 3 of the top activities performed, having a slick mobile-optimised website is more important than ever.
For more information please see: http://www.google.com/think/research-studies/mobile-in-store.html